Sometimes, you just gotta strike a pose. Whether you go for fun, or sophisticated, this is especially true when taking family portraits. Finding the most flattering portrait poses is often determined by the number of people being photographed. Family shots are obviously handled differently than a simple individual headshot. Here are a few tips regardless of your portrait situation to ensure you walk away with flattering images.

Little Boy Leaning against wall for Flattering Portrait Poses

  1. Pivot to the side

    Even the most secure of us wants to look our best. Shifting your body to your back foot and pivoting slightly for the camera will give an individual a slimmer appearance. Besides, it can look darn cute, too.

    Little girl sitting on steps for Flattering Portrait Poses

  2. Shoot from above

    Tilt your chin up and have your photographer shoot you from slightly above. This is a good way to ensure a flattering portrait for most people, kids and adults alike.

    Dad holding his infant son's hands for flattering portrait poses

  3. Engage the hands

    Sometimes the most awkward portraits happen because people feel self-conscious and don’t know what to do with themselves. By giving your hands something simple to do, you can overcome this. Put one hand in a pocket, grab a collar, or engage them in some other way. Whatever you do, don’t stand there like Frankenstein’s monster.

    Large group photo for flattering portrait poses

  4. Group in clusters

    When you’ve got a large family to shoot, it’s best to group people into smaller clusters. Then you can bring them together for a more dynamic shot.

    Couple with newborn huddled in close for flattering portrait poses

  5. Keep close

    For couples and small families, getting in close holds two important meanings. Not only is it easier to capture flattering footage, but it also symbolizes the closeness you have. In essence, that’s what photography is about—using images to visually communicate.

    Little girl sitting off to the side of the couch for flattering portrait poses

  6. Throw in some asymmetry

    Taking a portrait straight on can be somewhat boring and unflattering. By adding in asymmetry in the form of variations of arms and legs, or the number of people in the pose can be exactly what you need.

    Little boy with his mom for flattering portrait poses

  7. Forget poses

    Let’s face it, if you’re taking pics with kids, poses are overrated. Staying flexible and focusing on the fun is much better way to achieve the end results you’re looking for. It’s all about catching a glimpse into the people you are now, so why not let your silliness sail?


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.About the Photographer and Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!